Influence of Movie Industry on Gambling
There is no business like show business, and there is no industry like the movie industry! Hollywood blockbusters not only set fashion trends (just think of the plain black turtleneck from La Dolce Vita), make music hits (think Disney soundtracks), but also affect industries that, at the first glance, have nothing in common.
Such an industry is the gambling industry. The rapid rise in the number of online casinos is not only due to the thrill of gambling, but the popularity of Hollywood movies that revolve around gambling and casinos in one way or another.
The casino industry profits from “casino” movies, even when they portray gambling in shady dents (something no one would suggest, especially because you can find and try safe gambling site in IE). Let’s be honest: Rounders with Matt Damon and Edward Norton depict gambling as dangerous, Ocean’s 11 is about charming criminals, and 21 is about plain counting cards in Blackjack.
So, how can an industry profit from such a negative image?
Good guy always wins
Movies that often feature gambling as an important point in the plot are James Bond movies, and we all know how charming James Bond is. Nonetheless, he often uses card games like baccarat and scraps to dominate his opponent or to learn more about the bragging villain with a beautiful lady by his side. In Rounders, Matt Damon plays a troubled young man trying to escape his past mistakes who has to win a game of poker against a mafia boss played by John Malkovich.
In Ocean’s franchise, you simply have to root for Brad Pitt and George Clooney, even if they are criminals, as they are pictured as charming, attractive, and most importantly, winners. And one thing they all have in common is that they are winners.
An average player wants to be a winner, as well. A young man from Dublin’s suburbs can identify with Matt Damon while wanting to be as macho as James Bond, or at least George Clooney, so he will start to play poker with his friends and brag about gambling strategies.
And there is nothing wrong with that.
Criminal past of the gambling industry
Casinos also make an amazing setting for an action-packed plot. Even though modern-day casinos are meek and modest compared to the ones in the past, they still have a reputation of being owned or run by criminals. One would think that such a presentation in movies could negatively affect the casino industry, but it only attracts more people looking for some excitement in their lives. Also, movies like 21, tend to present winning against the house as something that is not only possible but real.
Most movie classics about the gambling industry, such as Scorsese’s Casino with Joe Pesci, Robert DeNiro, and Sharon Stone, even though they handle the difficult topic of organized crime, show criminals in a humane way. They simply become people we can relate to, so the viewer not only understands the motivation behind the character, but thrives to experience the same level of glamour, richness, and prestige, and playing in a casino is as close as they can get to it.
Lady luck is always by your side
The charismatic protagonist in a Hollywood casino movie is winning even if he is losing. He might not win the money, but he will definitely win freedom, that hot girl, or his integrity back. Still, more often than not, the protagonist will end up as the winner.
Moviemakers like to play around with how a certain game is introduced to the viewer: sometimes a game of luck is shown as a game of skill (such as baccarat in James Bond movies), and sometimes a game of skill becomes a game of luck, simply because it is more convenient for the plot. The main character is simply lucky enough to have all the stars collided in a way that suits him best.
Someone who has no prior casino experience might be fascinated with all those dynamic scenes of roulette wheels spinning, cards being dealt and called, and slot machines making that recognizable “ka-ching” sound. Scenes that depict casinos as more exciting than they are, will make new players all over the world, even though a real casino experience is much tamer.